The Art of Hitting a Curveball

I began writing this letter to you a few minutes before midnight.

I had just spent the last few hours of my life shifting my weight on the couch, cooling my nerves with sips of iced tea, watching my beloved Philadelphia Phillies defeat the San Diego Padres 2-0 in Game 1 in the best of 7 of the National League Championship Series. With the winner advancing to the World Series.

Now, from the letters you have sent me you’ve never mentioned baseball. In fact, you’ve never mentioned sports at all. However, in a recent letter you used a baseball idiom that even a non-baseball fan understands.

You explained life has recently thrown you some unexpected “curveballs” and how you’re trying your best to “hit those curveballs” but it’s hard. It’s really, really “fucking” (your word, not mine) hard. And lately it seems like, “the harder I swing, the harder I miss.”

During the Phillies game, the TV announcers explained the art of hitting a curveball (or any pitched baseball for that matter). They gushed that a successful at bat begins with pitch recognition. That in order for a batter to successfully hit a pitched baseball, they must recognize the story of the pitch as it speeds toward them. It’s imperative, in the split second a batter has when a pitch is thrown, to make the proper adjustments with their body and in their mind in order to successfully hit the quickly approaching baseball.

As Cindy and the kids and the dog and the house and all of suburbia snore, I sit on the couch and think about curveballs.

Learning how to hit a literal curveball is important for the development of a baseball player and learning how to hit a idiomatic “curveball” is important for the development of well, everyone.

Because we all face the unexpected.

Because life, like you said, “is really, really fucking hard.”

I’m a 42 year-old-writer, husband, father, dog walker and I’m learning to make the proper adjustments to life’s curveball– one that wickedly spins with an incurable brain disease. Sometimes I whiff. And sometimes I’m so frozen with fear and uncertainty and sadness that I don’t even swing. Sometimes I strike out.

But in life (and in baseball), our ability to hit curveballs depends on the adjustments we make.

We can’t change the trajectory of the ball rushing toward us. But we can take a deep breath. We can be patient. We can allow acceptance. We can evaluate our decisions. We can control our actions.

And we can make the proper adjustments to our body and mind that would make baseball announcers gush.

Be well,


October Book Promos:

Are you searching for a better version of yourself?

This month I joined literary forces for some best-selling authors to promote our books in the, “Become Inspired. Become You.” book promotion. Check out these awesome titles!

Memoirs, Biographies, Self-help books…oh my!

This month I joined literary forces with some best-selling authors t promote our books in the “Non-fiction Super Sale” book promotion. Checkout these awesome titles!

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…

A few months ago, with low expectations, I took a shot and entered “Bedtime Stories for the Living” in the highly regarded, highly competitive international book contest presented by Readers’ Favorite. Readers’ Favorite is an established force in the publishing industry. They have worked withPenguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors.

Anyway, just before I was about to take a midday nap, I was informed that this suburban dad had won…

First Prize, the Gold Medal, in the Non-Fiction/Parenting genre!

The award ceremony is in November and is at Hilton Blue Lagoon in Miami, Florida.

It was totally unexpected. I’m totally honored. And I totally can’t wait for my kids to question my parenting skills so that I can gently remind them I wrote a Gold Medal winning parenting book.


Quote of the Week:

If you would like to share something with others (a photo, a poem, a song, a quote, etc.) that tosses some positive vibes into the world, please send your suggestions to me at Thanks!


Are you a reader? Looking for your next good book to read or listen to? Check out my new page “Jay’s Book Shelf” for some book recommendations.

Here’s what I’m currently reading: Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!

If you like this post, you may also like:

The Big Reveal


How to Climb Today’s Mountain


Your Voice is the Most Powerful Thing You Own


A Letter to My Son (mostly about) Baseball


Jay Armstrong is a writer, speaker, former high school English teacher, and an award-winning authorDespite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. The leader of the Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group, he hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life. For Jay, a good day consists of 5 things:

1. Reading
2. Writing 
3. Exercising
4. Hearing his three children laugh
5. Hugging his wife
(Bonus points for a dinner with his parents or a drink with his friends)

Jay hasn’t had a bad day in quite a long time. 

You can also visit Jay at

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